Friday, March 21, 2014

Super long post about socks and sock yarn

I finally finished my very first pair of socks! After much anxiety about using teeny tiny DPNs, several choice angry words when mistakes were made and ripped out, and about 4 weeks, they were done. These beauties are WAY too big for me, but I will wear them proudly around the house anyway. Super duper warm and soft. Had a ton of this skein of yarn left over, which I will use up in a monster project (keep reading...).
Here is a close-up of this lovely yarn in the sunshine - it is like a muted rainbow, mostly a dusky gray-violet with some lighter purple, jungle greens, twilight blues, and even a touch of dusty rose. Lovely! 

Next order of business - I finished a lovely shawl in a pattern called "Dissent," using Zauberball in 'Tropical Fish' and a soft gray. I say the Zauberball yarn used in another project and just fell in love with the colorway - it reminds me of the tropical fish I saw snorkeling on my honeymoon. Gorgeous! This pattern is super fun and uses short rows, which was new to me - fun and soft. My kitty seems to have claimed it. "Dissent" is exactly the right word to describe her when I try to move her off of it so I can use it! 
You want me to move, human? Think again.

So what do I do with all of those lovely little bits of leftover sock and fingering-weight yarn? I'm so glad you asked! Enter: the Blankie! This is a lovely addictive creation which literally hundreds of ravelers worldwide have begun. It is a super-cute way to use up those little bits (and give you an excuse to buy new ones...), making a long-term project that you simply can't put down! Each little tiny square takes about 20 min, and 9 yards of yarn. Easy peasy! The only modification I am using is to use stockinette instead of garter stitch, since I like the way it shows off the subtleties of the yarn's colors, and I am blocking them as I go. So far up to over 40 squares (I calculate close to 800+ will be needed...), and going strong! 

Like I said, this new project gives me an excuse to think about buying new yarn! I'm planning the sock yarn blanket to be in mostly greens, blues, purples, and neutrals. Imagine my delight when I discovered Madeline Tosh Tea Cakes, an absolutely adorable idea from my favorite online yarn store, Jimmy Beans Wool. 20-yard mini balls of Madeline Tosh merino light sock yarn (which is sinfully soft and a delight to work with), in 12 color-coordinated shades named for various herbal teas! 
I picked Berry Blackcurrant, which comes with the following shades: Baltic, Baroque Violet, Begonia Leaf, Bloomsbury, Denim, Heuchera, Ink, Spectrum, Sugar Plum, Thunderstorm, Vishnu, and Well Water. They are even packed in a little pastry box, and a pack of tea and a biscotti cookie comes with it! Is this not the cutest idea you've ever seen? They even have them in shades of green, pink, and browns. Love. Got it in the mail today (two day shipping, love me some Jimmy Beans!), and I swear it felt like I was getting a super special present, like it was my birthday or something. Yes, I am a yarn dork. And I love it.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Something vaguely sock-like

So after about three weeks, I turned this gorgeous Smooshy Dream in Color yarn into something that almost resembles a sock! This yarn is super soft and easy to work with, and I've already cast on the second sock. Hopefully this one won't take as long. :)

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Knit Picks!

Lots of excitement!

I started on my first ever pair of socks recently. This is a LOT of firsts - first time using a needle that small (2.5! Eeek!), first time attempting ANYTHING with dpns (eewww), first time using a fingering-weight yarn ... let's just say that there was a lot of anxiety before and angst during this project. I'm about 80% through one sock, and it is lovely!

I chose to make the Fitwell sock in Smooshy yarn by Dream in Color on a friend's suggestion - she makes a lot of socks, so I asked her what she recommended for my first pair. :) I'll post picks when I'm done with at least one sock! 

Also, I discovered Knit Picks. Dangerous. I ordered like a box of fingering-weight yarn to make a couple of shawls and scarves (Ravelry is also dangerous... I think I've already got about 100 things on my queue... ). Here is the box of beauties -- aren't they gorgeous?
And then, of course, the box got commandeered by the resident yarn inspector ...

I can't bring myself to throw this box away. She sleeps in it and it keeps her away from all of my lovely new yarns, so I think it's a fair trade.

Currently have 5 projects on the needles- my socks, an Aranami shawl, wrist warmers, a linen stitch scrap blanket, and a large wavy afghan. The Oscars should give me a good few hours to work on them! :)